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Ptsd Denial


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28 replies to this topic

#1 sjh4951

 
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Posted 31 July 2008 - 07:15 PM

My late husband suffered from PTSD since 1991...probably longer but the S*** hit the fan then. He was on social security disability from then until he died in 2006. He filed a claim with the VA but his combat action ribbon was not on his 214. It took a year to get it but by then he was terminal and bedridden with cancer. After he died I submitted the amended dd215 for accrued benefits. Was denied. Anyone know why? Any suggestions? Sure could use the help. VSO is worthless.

Thanks!

#2 jbasser

 
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Posted 31 July 2008 - 07:32 PM

Was your late Husband in country Viet Nam Vet?
What type of cancer did he have?

If he was in country Viet Nam Vet, and CAncer was on the AO cancer list, Then you would be entitled to DIC.
Other folks will jump in here who have dealt with this in detail.

J

#3 Ricky

 
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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:55 PM

Was the PTSD claim pending at the time of death or had it already been closed out and outside the appeal period?

#4 Pete53

 
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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:31 PM

If he got SSD for it than he should get it from the VA. All I can say is don't give up. If you can get it Service Connected to 1991 than you should also get DIC about 1100 a month and ChampVA Health Insurance plus other bennies.

#5 sjh4951

 
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Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:49 AM

He was denied for PTSD Aug. 26, 2005, died May 2006, I filed July 2006. The VA is saying he did not have a claim pending. Didn't I have a year from date of death to file?

HIs last denial said he needed the CAR to verify his stressor...I sent them the amended 215 with the CAR now added. Took a year to get it but was too late for my husband.

Yes, he was a Marine in Vietnam. He died from esophageal cancer. I have a claim for that too. Both are at the Board of Veterans Appeals. Which brings me to another question. The BVA has asked me to put "Waive Decision Review Officer" on all new evidence that I send? Anyone know what this means?

#6 sjh4951

 
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Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:54 AM

If he got SSD for it than he should get it from the VA. All I can say is don't give up. If you can get it Service Connected to 1991 than you should also get DIC about 1100 a month and ChampVA Health Insurance plus other bennies.



He didn't file for PTSD until he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. That was July 2004. He was getting SSD from 1991, unable to work since then. Can I actually get my claim date changed to 1991 because of the SSD? Should I contact SS and get his records?

Thanks again!

#7 Berta

 
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Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:09 AM

What did he get SSA for?

Was the VA aware of his SSA records and did they list them as evidence in the denial?

Did they use the SSA records in the narrative of thje denial?

Can you possibly cover the personal info and scan and attach here the Exact reasons and bases for the denial?

The denial for the PTSd claim- if he did not appeal that with a NOD -did you formally re-open that claim yourself on the 21-526 form?

"He was denied for PTSD Aug. 26, 2005, died May 2006, I filed July 2006. The VA is saying he did not have a claim pending. Didn't I have a year from date of death to file?"

Yes -you were within the one year after accrued claim rule-
but accrued is only for pending claims-
I am a widow and my husband had 2 claims pending at death-
I formally re-opened them-got DIC due to one claim and accrued benefits due to the re-open of his pending 2 claims-
this is an unusual sitation-
he was within the one year NOD time frame but did he file a NOD or continue the PTSD claim in any way whatsoever?

Was the DD 215 acknowledged yet by the VA?
It seems to me that you complied with what they needed during the appellate period-

Your DIC claim-Esophagul cancer is not an AO presumptive disease-
UNLESS it is a soft tissue sarcoma.
OR unless it is due to an AO presumptive disease.Was it in any way Trachea cancer? Larynx cancer, or metasized from any STS or other form of AO presumptive cancer?

The entire list of STS AO cancers is here at hadit under search (about 34 of them) and also the AO presumptives are within 38 CFR and are all here under a search-

if a death certificate lists a type of cancer tha is not AO presumptive, there is always possibly- with a through review of a Vietnam Vets med recs - that the disease listed as causing death could have been contributed to by an AO disease that metasized into the disease that caused death.

Meaning vet has for example Cancer of Bronchus (an AO presumptive) but dies of cancer of different type that was in fact a metasization (meaning it had direct nexus to) the bronchus cancer- thus the AO cancer contributed to death-

AO does not have to directly cause death -even if the death certificate lists it as a contributiong factor and not immediate cause of death-the VA still has to grant DIC.

Was he autopsied (and do you have the results of autopsy)and do you have copies of all of his medical records?


I agree-most of these Sos dont know crap about DIC claims.

Did you fully fill out the REPS form in the DIC application -if during his illness- and SSA award-he had children, step, natural or adopted children that received SSA on his account due to his disability?













"

#8 Berta

 
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Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:19 AM

This BVA case shows what I mean:
http://www.va.gov/ve...es2/0814590.txt

However if the medical records reveal that his cancer was not squamous cell but in fact due to STS-Soft Tissue Sarcoma- you would have chance to get DIC- and also as I mentioned if the esophagus cancer in fact had metasized from another type of cancer that is on the AO presumptive list.

Did you receive a VCAA letter yet for your DIC claim with an election notice to respond to the VA with by checking Box one or Box two---that also cited provisions of Hupp V. Nicholson?

#9 Berta

 
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Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:51 AM

This veteran claimed not only AO presumptives for esophagus cancer but also raised issue of direct service connection of it.

He was awarded direct SC for esophagal cancer.
http://www.va.gov/ve...es2/0814590.txt

Do you have your husband’s SMRs?

Also -The VA should request in the VCAA letter that you obtain an Independent Medical opinion-
have they?

Have you considered getting one?

They can be quite costly- I paid 4,000 for 2 of them already-
If he had a private doctor perhaps the private doctor would give you a freeby one- there is a specific format for obtaining an IMO and it is here under search "Getting an Independent Medical Opinion"

I spent some time at the BVA web site and found a few esophagus AO claims on remand for additional evidence -
one widow had an IMO but the doctor only made a suggestion that since the veteran did not drink or smoke- that left AO as a potential cause of his esophagus cancer-but the doctor failed to further support that statement with more medical rationale and/0r any medical treatises on his statement.

A poorly prepared IMO can do more harm than good-
if this doc had said "I have accessed and read the veteran's complete medical records and SMRs and I believe that it is
at least as likely as the not- the veteran's proven exposure to herbicides during service had caused the esophagal cancer -as other factors known in the standard medical community which might lead to this type of cancer (such as smoking and alcohol use) are not found in the clinical record of the veteran and therefore no other etiology but for Agent Orange exposure ,in my opinion, could have possibly caused this type of cancer."

A good IMO will help you but only if the cancer was STS type or metasized from an AO cancer.

#10 sjh4951

 
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Posted 01 August 2008 - 10:03 AM

Thank you Berta,

I will try to answer your questions.
For now lets set aside the esophageal cancer claim and deal with the PTSD.

In October of 1991 Bill had a complete breakdown at work. He was found catatonic (?) at his desk (police officer).
He was diagnosed with multiple things, so many that I can't remember them all. One was PTSD though.
He never returned to work but did get worker's compensation due to being harassed by the police chief who "used" Bill. His favorite words to Bill were "you're a Marine, you can take it". Let me state here that my husband was very passive since returning from vietnam..might have been before but I didn't know him then.

In 1992 I was told by a friend that my husband was eligible for social security disability and I applied for that for him. He was approved and because I was now his caregiver, the checks came in my name for him. (Workers Comp also paid me a weekly salary to care for Bill as his doctors said he could not be left alone...to the day he died in 2006 his doctors were still stating this and workers comp was still paying me.

Bill was in and out of hospitals from that day in 1991. He saw a weekly psycoligist and was on numerous medications. He never worked again.

In 2004 Bill was diagnosed with cancer. I urged him to apply for compensation due to agent orange. By then I had also learned about PTSD being compensated..never realized that before. Anyway, Bill did apply for service related PTSD. and the cancer. He was denied for PTSD based on the fact that he could not prove his stressor...the denial said "although we realize that you do have PTSD and cannot prove your stressor one of the following medals will be accepted as evidence of a stressful event." Well, low and behold Bill's combat action ribbon had never been put on his discharge papers so he and I filed to get them amended. It took a year or so to get that done. The amended 215 arrived in the mail in March of 2006 but by then Bill was too ill with cancer to procede with his claim. I just set the amended 215 aside as I was busy with my terminal husband.
(Keep in mind that his last PTSD denial was August 06 (he had sent them everything he could think of..unit diaries, etc so while we were waiting for the amended 215 it kept the claim pending.)
Bill died May 30, 2006. In July of 2006 I went to see a VSO. He told me that he would help me with the esophageal cancer but not the PTSD. I'd have to do that on my own is exactly what he said. Well, he filled out the DIC form, had me sign whatever I needed to sign and then gave everything to me to take home and mail. Before I sent the form to the VA I added
a few lines to what the VSO had written, stating that I was including the new amended 215 to now show the CAR and was filing for accrued benefits for PTSD. When I got the denial it mentioned nothing about the PTSD. I called them and was told that Bill did not have a claim pending and they showed nothing in their file from me. I was so frustrated that I just packed everything up and sent it along with a letter to the BVA (this was March 22, 2007) In July 2007 I got the denial for PTSD from the Columbia office (strange, huh?) Now they are saying that Bill's PTSD was due to childhood abuse. He was abused as a child apparently (although I never heard anything about this until he started seeing a shrink) but was fine when he joined the USMC??.

Now, I have told the VA in many letters that Bill was on Social Security Disability and had been since 1992. When I finally requested Bill's "C" file, (which took two letters by the way for them to finally send it to me) there is nothing in there from social security. (The file was a complete disaster...looked like someone dropped the paperwork then just scooped it all up and threw it into the box) It was next to impossible to make heads or tails out of anything. Pages missing..multiple pages of the same items, etc; Also included was the original letter of request for the "c" file which they had previously stated they had never received. I truly believe there is a problem in Columbia.

The DD215 was acknowledged as received as evidence in the denial for esophageal cancer but not in the denial for PTSD.

I personally think that what happened is when I added the info to the form my VSO filed out it might have screwed everything up. When the VA did not respond to my requests about the PTSD I wrote them a letter asking if I had filled out the correct form. They never answered that letter either. If I remember correctly I again sent them a letter requestion accrued for PTSD but not PTSD as cause of death. Still heard nothing until after I filed an appeal then ofcourse it was the July denial with the PTSD caused from childhood abuse.

There is no doubt that my husband's PTSD was service related. Even when he had his surgery for cancer he thought he was in Vietnam. The hospital had to restrain him. It was awful. He had been taken off all of his meds(due to the surgery I guess) so his mind just ran wild.

I am very stressed and frustrated by our system. My husband spent almost 15 years suffering from PTSD. He lost a career, I lost my career, our children suffered, it was endless and for what?

Now I'm told that if I can get the accrued for PTSD or prove to the VA that Bill suffered from it for over 10 years prior to his death that maybe I can get monthly compensation. Is that correct?

Thanks for all your help...I'm at my wits end.

#11 Pete53

 
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Posted 02 August 2008 - 08:45 AM

hemamali:

Welcome to Hadit.


#12 Berta

 
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Posted 02 August 2008 - 08:50 AM

I posted a post up top today because I couldnt find your post until just now-

I might have misinterpreted whether the claim he had was still within the NOD period.

"He told me that he would help me with the esophageal cancer but not the PTSD"

If this rep said this to you during the appeallate period for the NOD (and even if he didnt) he should be complained about - send a letter to his boss-
and try to get a better rep-

He could have cost you money by what he said- and if so- can be sued in a state court for negligence-
having said that-

If you fall into the aspects of Taylor V Principi in the post I made here this AM- fight their decision-with TAylor-
available at the CAVC web site-

It sounds to me that VA is using arbitrary evidence against the PTSD claim.

MAke sure they have ALL medical records he had, Private and VA, and also make sure they know he was receiving SSA.

What specifically was the SSA awarded for?

The CAR- the Marines , as I understand it-didnt Award this citation (Badge ) for many many years-

My husband, a combat Vietnam vet 1965-1966 didnt get the CAR and I thought this was why- ironically his DD 215 application brought him 3-4 awards/decorations he didnt know he had- maybe they forgot the CAR-
I am going to look into that. ?

He was awarded 100% SC for PTSD posthumously 3 years after he died.I received the "accrued" compensation -the law when they began with my claim was onky one year accrued but by the time they awarded me -they had to pay me under the new reg for 2 years accrued-
I have an AO death pending-and if the VA deems your husband's death as AO contributing they will have to pay ypu ALL accrued- and they owe me one more year on that-
so it is important to see if you can establish you accrued right to his compensation.

On a radio show the other night I did I made the point that I was treated by the DAV in 1995 like I expected a benefit I didnt deserve--

and had to remind them I didnt make up the DIC and accrued regs-the VA did-

many of these SOS simply dont have a clue on DIC and some of them have their own man -women issues when a widow or a female veteran comes to them for help-
that aint politically correct and I apologise to all you wonderful men here-I dont mean you-

but it is the reality that women face sometimes with SOs and reps.

Vietnam veterans with AO disability and their survivors would not the very favorable AO retros and survivorship rights of Nehmer -if it wasnt for NVLSP and for widow -Beverly Nehmer.








Your situation concerns me a lot- I know very well how the VA and how Vet reps can treat widows.

"After he died I submitted the amended dd215 for accrued benefits. Was denied. Anyone know why? Any suggestions? Sure could use the help. VSO is worthless.""


Did VA fully acknowledge the DD 215?

How did they word the denial with the DD 215?

Funny thing- the VA I just realised NEVER acknowledged my husband's DD 215-but his stressors were verified anyhow.

Make sure too that VA knows that regardl;ess of his MOS on the DD 214/215- ALL Marines were Infantry in Vietnam too!

Edited by Berta, 02 August 2008 - 08:59 AM.


#13 sjh4951

 
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Posted 08 August 2008 - 11:53 AM

I posted a post up top today because I couldnt find your post until just now-

I might have misinterpreted whether the claim he had was still within the NOD period.

"He told me that he would help me with the esophageal cancer but not the PTSD"

If this rep said this to you during the appeallate period for the NOD (and even if he didnt) he should be complained about - send a letter to his boss-
and try to get a better rep-

He could have cost you money by what he said- and if so- can be sued in a state court for negligence-
having said that-

If you fall into the aspects of Taylor V Principi in the post I made here this AM- fight their decision-with TAylor-
available at the CAVC web site-

It sounds to me that VA is using arbitrary evidence against the PTSD claim.

MAke sure they have ALL medical records he had, Private and VA, and also make sure they know he was receiving SSA.

What specifically was the SSA awarded for?

The CAR- the Marines , as I understand it-didnt Award this citation (Badge ) for many many years-

My husband, a combat Vietnam vet 1965-1966 didnt get the CAR and I thought this was why- ironically his DD 215 application brought him 3-4 awards/decorations he didnt know he had- maybe they forgot the CAR-
I am going to look into that. ?

He was awarded 100% SC for PTSD posthumously 3 years after he died.I received the "accrued" compensation -the law when they began with my claim was onky one year accrued but by the time they awarded me -they had to pay me under the new reg for 2 years accrued-
I have an AO death pending-and if the VA deems your husband's death as AO contributing they will have to pay ypu ALL accrued- and they owe me one more year on that-
so it is important to see if you can establish you accrued right to his compensation.

On a radio show the other night I did I made the point that I was treated by the DAV in 1995 like I expected a benefit I didnt deserve--

and had to remind them I didnt make up the DIC and accrued regs-the VA did-

many of these SOS simply dont have a clue on DIC and some of them have their own man -women issues when a widow or a female veteran comes to them for help-
that aint politically correct and I apologise to all you wonderful men here-I dont mean you-

but it is the reality that women face sometimes with SOs and reps.

Vietnam veterans with AO disability and their survivors would not the very favorable AO retros and survivorship rights of Nehmer -if it wasnt for NVLSP and for widow -Beverly Nehmer.








Your situation concerns me a lot- I know very well how the VA and how Vet reps can treat widows.

"After he died I submitted the amended dd215 for accrued benefits. Was denied. Anyone know why? Any suggestions? Sure could use the help. VSO is worthless.""


Did VA fully acknowledge the DD 215?

How did they word the denial with the DD 215?

Funny thing- the VA I just realised NEVER acknowledged my husband's DD 215-but his stressors were verified anyhow.

Make sure too that VA knows that regardl;ess of his MOS on the DD 214/215- ALL Marines were Infantry in Vietnam too!



#14 sjh4951

 
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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:03 PM

Yes, the vso did say that he would not help me with the PTSD...just waived his hand and said " You'll have to do that one on your own." He was a real ass about it.

The DD215 was acknowledged in the denial for esopahgeal cancer but the denial for PTSD just stated claimant had no pending claim at death which was not true. His last denial for PTSD was August 2005, he died May 2006, I filed July 2006 BUT because the VSO refused to handle the PTSD I just enclosed the amended 215, wrote a few notes on the form for DIC and sent it in.
Therein probably lies the mistake I made...wrong form but who was I to know.

I contacted the social security dept yesterday and asked for my late husbands records. They refused but did say they would send me a letter showing when his disablity payments started and ended. I also contacted his physc doctor who treated him in 1991 and 1992. Was told that all records had been destroyed and doc wouldn't write letter because he had no evidence to back it up....HIPPA Law?, they said. So that was another dead end.

Bottom line...Bill had a pending claim at death...I had one year to reopen it...I did...VA says I didn't. Don't know what to do at this point. Any help?

#15 sjh4951

 
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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:08 PM

BREAKING NEWS!!!! CONGRESSMAN STEVE KAGEN (WI.) HAS SUBMITTED BILL H.R.6798 TO INCLUDE GASTROINTESTINAL CANCERS AS PRESUMPTIVE FOR ALL VIETNAM VETS/AGENT ORANGE. THIS INCLUDES PANCRCATIC CANCERS AND ALL CANCERS FROM THE MOUTH TO THE RECTUM.


PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS AND ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR THIS BILL!!!!!


#16 Pete53

 
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Posted 08 August 2008 - 02:17 PM

That is good news and I will make Contact with my worthless Congressman

#17 Berta

 
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Posted 08 August 2008 - 04:10 PM

If his claim was denied and he appealed and the claim was in the appeal status when he died- you should be able to file a claim to re-open for accrued-as you said you did-

but his claim had to be "pending" at time of death.

Only a "pending" claim is a claim that is eligible for accrued benefits for any spouse survivor- maybe the rep thinks he didnt have a pending claim-

a non-pending claim is a denied claim that was never appealed during the appeal period.

#18 sjh4951

 
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Posted 08 August 2008 - 04:37 PM

It was pending...denied Aug. 2005 so he had until Aug 2006 but died in May 06. I then had a year. So, the VA is wrong in saying that he didn't have a pending claim but how do you fight the VA?

#19 Berta

 
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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:20 AM

You fight the VA with evidence-

Use their regs against them-on the accrued claim.

Did you access Taylor CAVC decision I mentioned?

Did the VA send you a VCAA letter compliant with Hupp?

The VA is trying to deny my CUE claim by saying my husband died without a pending Sec 1151 claim.

I recently sent them detailed information and letters to and from VACO to show that he did file the claim, it was pending and went to rating board the morning he died (I had the name of the 800# rep, I used it ina deposition when I sued a vet rep, and he also had sent it to Jesse Brown, who was Secretary of the VA.
I even had an old Prodigy BBS where a lawyer there gave him info on the Gardner Moratoprium as we were both active online members of Prodigy Vtes BBS when he had filed his 1151 claim.
VA sends me DIC because I re-opened his 1151 claim-

I had to spell all of this out to them to prove he had a claim pending when he died-

in your case-I think Taylor V,. Nicholson will help you-
your SO might not have ever heard of Hupp or Taylor-
you will have to prove that he had a claim pending-yourself-
and as long as the accrued benefit claim was filed within one year after his death the VA will have to adjudicate the clim and award it, if the evidence is there.

You will also most likely have to provide more medical evidence to-for the accrued claim.

My accrued claim took three years and my DIC took 3 1/2 years.
During all that time I consistently found and sent to VA more evidence to support the awards.
http://search.vetapp.gov/search/

Here you will find Taylor V. Nicholson Docket 05-0625

And you can find Hupp V. Nicholson there too-

Also the VA fast letter dated January 29,2007 ,might impact on your accrued claim:

"A claim filed with VA that had not been finally adjudicated by the VA on or before the date of death.(defining a Pending claim)
The letter goes on to state (I am referring to page 525 of the 2007 VBM)and an not permitted to post all they wrote on this-
"new and material" evidence or a CUE claim, or a change in statute can re-open a deceased veteran's claim.

Did the VCAA letter tell you to send them any new evidence to re-open the veteran's claim?
Did you do that?

The "new and material;" evidence must have been im VA's possession on or before the date of death.

This is a fundamental part of any accrued or DIC claim.

For example- my husband's 1151 said he feared the VA had failed to diagnose and treat his PTSD properly, his CVAs and that maybe he even had heart disease that they misdiagnosed and he felt the VA would kill him.

He died 6 months later and I sent as "new and material" evidence-the death cert which said he had significant heart disease, and I also sent a copy of the wrong meds mailer he got days before he died.I also sent within a few weeks a med certificate that diagnosed Sinus infection and that I believed it had been a misdiagnosed heart attack as the autopsy had revealed prior heart attack.

I sent as "new and material" evidence that which was revealed in the veteran's medical records (in their possession)prior to his death.

Long story but my point is-did VA tell you in the VCAA letter to send in more evidence and were you able to do that?

I am trying to comprehend why the SO didnt want to get into the veteran's claim for potential accrued benefits.

#20 sjh4951

 
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Posted 09 August 2008 - 01:43 PM

You fight the VA with evidence-

Use their regs against them-on the accrued claim. Don't know what this is?

Did you access Taylor CAVC decision I mentioned? Where can I find it?

Did the VA send you a VCAA letter compliant with Hupp? Hupp?

The VA is trying to deny my CUE claim by saying my husband died without a pending Sec 1151 claim.

I recently sent them detailed information and letters to and from VACO to show that he did file the claim, it was pending and went to rating board the morning he died (I had the name of the 800# rep, I used it ina deposition when I sued a vet rep, and he also had sent it to Jesse Brown, who was Secretary of the VA.
I even had an old Prodigy BBS where a lawyer there gave him info on the Gardner Moratoprium as we were both active online members of Prodigy Vtes BBS when he had filed his 1151 claim.
VA sends me DIC because I re-opened his 1151 claim-

I had to spell all of this out to them to prove he had a claim pending when he died-

in your case-I think Taylor V,. Nicholson will help you-
your SO might not have ever heard of Hupp or Taylor-maybe, don't know, never talk to him.
you will have to prove that he had a claim pending-yourself-
and as long as the accrued benefit claim was filed within one year after his death the VA will have to adjudicate the clim and award it, if the evidence is there.

You will also most likely have to provide more medical evidence to-for the accrued claim.The VA says they recognize he does have ptsd but no stressor proved. Hence, the CAR would be accepted. This was in their own words. Bill's original GAF was 32 but went to 50 after years and years of treatment. Don't know what it was for the last 5 or so years of his life. I sure know it dropped when he was fighting the cancer. Pure hell when the hospital took him off all his ptsd meds. after his cancer surgery. He thought he was in Vietnam the whole time..had to be restrained, etc; Just hate sitting here remembering what he went through.

My accrued claim took three years and my DIC took 3 1/2 years.
During all that time I consistently found and sent to VA more evidence to support the awards.
http://search.vetapp.gov/search/

Here you will find Taylor V. Nicholson Docket 05-0625 will read that today

And you can find Hupp V. Nicholson there too-

Also the VA fast letter dated January 29,2007 ,might impact on your accrued claim:

"A claim filed with VA that had not been finally adjudicated by the VA on or before the date of death.(defining a Pending claim)
The letter goes on to state (I am referring to page 525 of the 2007 VBM)and an not permitted to post all they wrote on this-
"new and material" evidence or a CUE claim, or a change in statute can re-open a deceased veteran's claim.

Did the VCAA letter tell you to send them any new evidence to re-open the veteran's claim? No, they listed "evidentiary record" as evidence instead of DD215..(the 4/11/07 deanial even states "Claim received 07-25-2006)
ADJUDICATIVE ACTION:
07-25-2006 Claim received
11-22-2006 Claim considered based on all the evidence of record
11-22-2006 Claimant notified of decision
12-04-2006 Notice of Disagreement received
04-11-2007 De Novo Review performed based on all the evidence of record

The final line states: The additional evidence received does not justify a different decision.
NOW, THEY HAVE ALREADY STATED THAT THEY RECOGNIZE HE HAS PTSD AND THAT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING MEDALS WOULD BE ACCEPTED BECAUSE HE COULD NOT VERIFY HIS STRESSOR. THAT BEING THE COMBAT ACTION RIBBON WHICH THEY RECEIVED JULY 25, 2006. SO WHY THE CHANGE IN THEIR DECISION SAYING THEY WOULD ACCEPT THAT MEDAL??
BECAUSE I'M THE WIDOW???




Did you do that? NO, I NEVER SENT THE LOCAL OFFICE ANOTHER DAMN THING..I HAD APPEALED BY THE TIME I FINALLY RECEIVED THE PTSD DENIAL.

The "new and material;" evidence must have been im VA's possession on or before the date of death. The amended DD215 was not sent to them until July 2006, two months after he died..I based "in their possession" as departmental records that weren't physically in the file but were within the system." Bill told them over and over again that he was in combat, sent them unit diaries and heaven only knows what all but they insisted on having one of the listed medals and even with the help of our congressman it still took a year to get it. Time just ran out for my husband as it does for so many, many, other veterans.

This is a fundamental part of any accrued or DIC claim.

For example- my husband's 1151 said he feared the VA had failed to diagnose and treat his PTSD properly, his CVAs and that maybe he even had heart disease that they misdiagnosed and he felt the VA would kill him.

He died 6 months later and I sent as "new and material" evidence-the death cert which said he had significant heart disease, and I also sent a copy of the wrong meds mailer he got days before he died.I also sent within a few weeks a med certificate that diagnosed Sinus infection and that I believed it had been a misdiagnosed heart attack as the autopsy had revealed prior heart attack.

I sent as "new and material" evidence that which was revealed in the veteran's medical records (in their possession)prior to his death.

Long story but my point is-did VA tell you in the VCAA letter to send in more evidence and were you able to do that?THEY NEVER ASKED ME FOR ANOTHER THING CAUSE THEY KNEW I HAD APPEALED WHEN THEY SENT THE DENIAL WHICH WAS ONLY SENT TO ME BECAUSE I COMPLAINED TO WASHINGTON THAT THE LOCAL VA WAS IGNORING MY CLAIM.

I am trying to comprehend why the SO didnt want to get into the veteran's claim for potential accrued benefits. I can't tell you the answer to that...he just blew me off...he was more interested in the DIC esophageal cancer. He has never called me in the two years since I was in to see him. He did mail me a VACOLS Appeal paper with a quick note on the bottom where he had written..Susan, please file, I did not keep copy. I can tell you that I blame him for not helping me. He has cost me time, compensation, stress, and anger.

As I said before, I filed on form 21-534 (form 21-601 says do not use this form if you have used form21-534) for DIC with the help of my VSO. I added my two cents worth about the PTSD for accrued and enclosed the amended 215. When I got my denial for the DIC(esophageal cancer-no mention of the PTSD) it showed as evidence the DD215. In March of 2007 I appealed everything..the VA stated there was no claim in their system for ptsd. On April 11, 2007 I received a denial for PTSD..their reasons and bases were:

. A claim for posttraumatic stress disorder ws received August 10, 2005. (Original date of filing was July 2004) The claim was subsequently denied and the Veteran was notified of that decision by a letter dated August 26, 2005.(quick, huh?) The claim was denied becasue there was no evidence of record of a verified stressful event that was linked to a confirmed diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. No claim for posttraumatic stress disorder was pending at the time of death. NOW LETS SEE...DENIED AUGUST 26, 2005, DIED MAY 30, 2006..IF I'M COUNTING CORRECTLY THAT IS NOT ONE YEAR FROM DATE OF DENIAL AND I KNOW HE HAD 12 MONTHS TO SUBMIT NEW EVIDENCE SO IN MY EYES THE CLAIM WAS STILL PENDING...RIGHT?

I think I already told you that I got a copy of the 'C' file. It was a total disaster. Duplicate pages, pages missing, all just stuffed out of order in a big box. Still can't make heads or tails of some of it because of the mess. Just one big exhausting stressful time trying to figure it out.



#21 Berta

 
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Posted 09 August 2008 - 04:03 PM

I am sorry you had to repeat yourself-here-I didnt understand where these claims were-
and I believe you have a pending claim for accrued and you have good evidence-

"THEY NEVER ASKED ME FOR ANOTHER THING CAUSE THEY KNEW I HAD APPEALED WHEN THEY SENT THE DENIAL WHICH WAS ONLY SENT TO ME BECAUSE I COMPLAINED TO WASHINGTON THAT THE LOCAL VA WAS IGNORING MY CLAIM."

GOOD FOR YOU! WHo in DC did you complain to?

"NO, I NEVER SENT THE LOCAL OFFICE ANOTHER DAMN THING..I HAD APPEALED BY THE TIME I FINALLY RECEIVED THE PTSD DENIAL."
and
"Yes, he was a Marine in Vietnam. He died from esophageal cancer. I have a claim for that too. Both are at the Board of Veterans Appeals. Which brings me to another question. The BVA has asked me to put "Waive Decision Review Officer" on all new evidence that I send? Anyone know what this means?"

It means if you waive the Decision Review Officer option then the BVA has jurisdiction over everything-
check me here everyone-I am assuming this is what they mean in this case----

The BVA has lawyers who know how to read, and they will certainly consider all of your evidence- it pays to make sure they have it all-
at the BVA web site is the BVAombudsman's email addy- the ombudsman can give a status from time to time.

I just hope they have enough to make a decision and not have to remand this all back to the VARO-

Please ask your Senators and Congressman/woman to support HR 6798-it is only sponsored in the House now and they need a Senator to sponsor it in the Senate-
I know the vet who pushed for this bill and hopefully, as we pass the word to all vets and widows on it- this would get all GI tract cancers on the AO presumptive list.

I think I explained already how esophagal cancer is not presumptive due to AO yet-

email from Colonel Dan and Kelley-

Kelley has done extensive work to get VA to recognize many cancers that they say are not due to AO-
-------------
"A big Thanks to Rep. Steve Kagen, WI-08-D for his work on veteran Issues. Now get your congressman on Board...


From: Sp5kelley2nd94th@aol.com [mailto:Sp5kelley2nd94th@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:06 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Bill to Add Cancers of the GI Tract as Herbicide Associated. HR 6798

Bill to Add Cancers of the GI Tract as Herbicide Associated. HR 6798

Yes, that is correct see link below. I can only say it is about time.

http://www.2ndbattal...ractCancers.htm
Bill to Add Cancers of the GI Tract as Herbicide Associated.

YES YES YES YES YES YES………………………………………YES!!!!

I received e-mail this morning from Mr. Peter Holstein of Congressman Kagen’s Office of which I am just ecstatic that finally the money, time, and the research time I spent is paying off for all Vietnam Veterans and Widows. In spite of my personal set backs on my claim; I am just thrilled to get this e-mail this AM.

E-mail as follows:

"Mr. Kelley, this is Peter Holstein in Congressman Kagen’s office. I wanted to let you know that my boss has introduced a bill to add all cancer of the GI tract to the AO presumptive list. The bill number is H.R. 6798. Of course, this is by no means a full solution, but it’s a start.

As you know, I’ve been working on this since last year, and sitting in with you on your meeting with Mr. Filner was catalyst. Thank you for continuing to pass on information on AO.

Please keep in touch, and let me know if you think your community would be interested in helping us get other members of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 6798 (right now we have two, Mr. Baca and Mr. McDermott).

Thanks again and keep up the hard work.

Peter Holstein"

Peter D. Holstein
Congressional Aide
Rep. Steve Kagen, WI-08
1232 Longworth HOB
(202) 225-5665



The link is at: http://www.washingto...10_HR_6798.html



On that link you can slide down to where it says read the bill. So far it is not posted there as of yet.



Now Mr. Holstein is asking for our help and we need to help him and Congressman Kagen as well as the two co-sponsors and ourselves and our widows.



Please please please call your DISTRICT congressperson and your two STATE senators and demand they support this HR 6798. In fact, I would ask them to sign on to co-sponsor the bill “as soon as possible” to support the Herbicide Veterans.



As you know the data has been there for some time without VA admitting the “increase in all site cancers is associated,” especially the GI tract. While this does not cover “quote ALL SITE CANCERS end quote”, it will cover GI Tract Cancers, which the GI tract is from the mouth to the anus.



Since it is going to committee it is imperative that you call all of the Congressional folks on the House Veterans Affairs Committee almost immediately.



As the cable guy says Let’s Git..er Done – NOW!



Show our support for this long overdue recognition of gastro cancers that are rampant in dioxin exposure victims and that must include "Herbicide Veterans."



Thank you so much for you help and please follow up on this as soon as you can with phone calls and letters.



This means all of you including spouses/widows/offspring and your separate Veterans Groups please you should also call in and send letters of support.



Thanks



Kelley "
end of email-
would your representatives possibly be interested in co sponsoring this? You are one of the very widows Kelley has in mind for this legislation.

We all need to support this bill-I am getting my letters to Sens Clinton/Schumer and Congressman Kuhl NY in mail Monday-there are other bills that we all need them to support as well.

Edited by Berta, 09 August 2008 - 04:05 PM.


#22 sjh4951

 
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Posted 09 August 2008 - 05:58 PM

I sent my appeal to Washington BVA along with a nice long letter telling them that the local VA had totally ignored my accrued benefit claim for PTSD. I now have a letter from the Social Security Office showing that Bill started receiving SSdisability in April of 1992 and continued to receive it until the month he died, all for PTSD. I read somewhere on the va website that in certain cases the va will work with social security to determine actual date illiness began but I don't think it applies except for DIC. The only other option would be to prove that Bill was ill for 10 years prior to his death in which case I might get DIC for that if the cancer compensation claim falls through. HOPE EVERYONE IS CONTACTING THEIR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS TO MAKE SURE THEY SUPPORT THIS BILL H.R. 6798!!

Yes, I know Kelly through e-mails. He sent me the breaking news of bill H.R. 6798. He has done many great things for veterans and I will never be able to thank him enough. I've mailed my congressmen, senators, family, and friends asking them to do the same. This bill needs to pass. Too many veterans are suffering and dying from GI cancers!
Mary Schubert, the widow who was present with Congressman Kagen is one of our ec group widows. She and a few others have won their cases for ec/herbicide. Congressman Kagen is suppose to meet with the press and television crew on Monday morning. This is in Wisconsin so doubt it will be heard here in South Carolina.

#23 tssnave

 
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Posted 09 August 2008 - 07:17 PM

SJH,

Welcome to hadit and please accept my condolences on the loss of your husband.

I have a question about what you wrote "The only other option would be to prove that Bill was ill for 10 years prior to his death in which case I might get DIC for that" - if a vet didn't actually apply for VA benefits but it is in his med records and VA C-file that he had a sc disability for well over the last 10 years, can you apply for DIC based on the evidence of record in the VA's possession that the vet actually had the sc illness for 10 years even if he didn't apply for disability benefits?

Thanks,
TS Snave

#24 sjh4951

 
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Posted 09 August 2008 - 07:56 PM

TS, I DID READ ON THE VA.GOV SITE THAT IF THE VET DIED AND HAD BEEN 100% DISABLED FOR ATLEAST 10 YEARS PRIOR THEN HIS SPOUSE CAN APPLY FOR DIC EVEN THO THE VETS DEATH WAS NOT RELATED TO SERVICE. BUT I AM PRETTY SURE THAT HE HAD TO HAVE BEEN ON VA COMPENSATION FOR THOSE 10 YEARS. MY HUSBAND WAS NOT ON VA DISABILITY BUT WAS ON SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY. I WAS HOPING THAT THOSE RECORDS THROUGH SSD WOULD BE ABLE TO PROVE THAT HE WAS, INDEED, SUFFEREING FROM PTSD FOR ALL THOSE YEARS. I WAS NOT SMART ENOUGH THEN TO KNOW THAT HE COULD ACTUALLY BE COMPENSATION FROM THE VA FOR HIS STRESS DISORDERS DUE TO VIETNAM.
SJH,

Welcome to hadit and please accept my condolences on the loss of your husband.

I have a question about what you wrote "The only other option would be to prove that Bill was ill for 10 years prior to his death in which case I might get DIC for that" - if a vet didn't actually apply for VA benefits but it is in his med records and VA C-file that he had a sc disability for well over the last 10 years, can you apply for DIC based on the evidence of record in the VA's possession that the vet actually had the sc illness for 10 years even if he didn't apply for disability benefits?

Thanks,
TS Snave



#25 Berta

 
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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:04 AM

WOw- you are right on top of that bill I mentioned!

I commend you highly for what you and the widow's group is doing !
Kelley is a GREAT vets advocate-he was my guest for one of my radio shows and we are always in contact-

He prompted me Wednesday night in the SVR CHAT room to give credit on the air to this COngressman for this important bill.

"I now have a letter from the Social Security Office showing that Bill started receiving SSdisability in April of 1992 and continued to receive it until the month he died, all for PTSD. I read somewhere on the va website that in certain cases the va will work with social security to determine actual date illiness began but I don't think it applies except for DIC. The only other option would be to prove that Bill was ill for 10 years prior to his death in which case I might get DIC for that if the cancer compensation claim falls through. HOPE EVERYONE IS CONTACTING THEIR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS TO MAKE SURE THEY SUPPORT THIS BILL H.R. 6798!!"

Yes- we have a member here (Emily) and I am sure her old posts are available.

She fought them for years and got "enhanced" DIC-38 CFR 1318.as far as I recall- I will try to find those old posts.

She proved the veteran should have been 100% SC for 10 years prior to his death.

He had no claim pending when he died and she did not file for DIC or accrued for years after his death so they could not award her accrued nor the retro back to date of his death.

SSA for PTSD-
You are correct there too-
My husband had 30% SC for PTSD.
He had applied for higher rating.
SSA awarded him for PTSD.
When the VA finally awarded this claim-he was dead for 3 years-already.
they made a posthumous award to me and used the SSA date of unemployability as the EED.

The regs however prohibited me from 3 years retro-they only award 2 years retro accrued to widows-
BUT-if you succeed on the AO claim (and if I succeed on my AO claim) then the Nehmer COurt Order says we get ALL accrued.

AO surviving spouses get ALL AO accrued.
If they are dead by the time VA awards, then VA must send the money to their estates and next of kin.

#26 sjh4951

 
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Posted 04 December 2008 - 05:46 AM

Hi Berta,

I'm still out here trying to get this PTSD thing in order.
Did you ever have a second to find the posts from "Emily"?
I couldn't find anything doing a search.

I've got the SSA records(which are just medical records from 1991 throu 1992) and an award letter but it doesn't state the reason my late husband was receiving disability.

My case is in appeals and I'm sure that if I don't take it upon myself to send the board the ssa records they will remand my case and ask the regional office to get them. I am just trying to think ahead to avoid dragging my case out any longer than necessary.

Sure could use some advise and help.

Thanks,
Susan

#27 Berta

 
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Posted 07 December 2008 - 02:33 PM

No-I have not ben able to find her case-
but I remember it well-

Her husband had no SC in his lifetime.

She applied for DIC and was denied but continued the claim.

She was finally awarded DIC about 2 years ago.

Her husband died of heart disease. Nothing in his SMRs and no VA medical care. Apparently he also had been a paramedic but never went to doctors for anything.

She proved-with an independent medical opinon from an expert that her husband ,who had contracted syphilis while in the military (documented in his SMRs) had developed, due to the syphilis- heart disease that was fatal.

I wish I could find the case-

The VA awarded her DIC.

In a DIC claim like yours- you would have to prove your husband should have been rated 100% P & T in his lifetime for Service connected disability for ten years.

With only 2 years of SSA for PTSD that will be difficult to do.



It might be easier to obtain an IMO to state that his PTSD contributed to the conditions of death as found on his death certificate.

PTSD has been found to have contributed to heart disease by VA when the spouse had a strong Independent Medical Opinion.I dont know if the VA has ever SCed PTSD to any other type of cause of death.



"When I got my denial for the DIC(esophageal cancer-no mention of the PTSD) it showed as evidence the DD215. In March of 2007 I appealed everything..the VA stated there was no claim in their system for ptsd. On April 11, 2007 I received a denial for PTSD..their reasons and bases were:

. A claim for posttraumatic stress disorder ws received August 10, 2005. (Original date of filing was July 2004) The claim was subsequently denied and the Veteran was notified of that decision by a letter dated August 26, 2005.(quick, huh?) The claim was denied becasue there was no evidence of record of a verified stressful event that was linked to a confirmed diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder"

It seems they did not find any confirmed PTSD diagnosis.???? Did he have treatment records from a VA shrink? and did he take meds for PTSD?
Were these records from a Private doctor?
SSA based the PTSD award on something-some concrete diagnosis.

Did you claim direct SC death due to esophagal cancer?

I assume he was incountry Vietnam veteran-
and that this cancer was listed on his death certificate as cause of death?

Was this cancer in any way a soft tissue sarcoma?
Is there any way at all the medical records can make it fit into the AO criteria?













#28 Berta

 
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Posted 07 December 2008 - 02:53 PM

I assume this cancer was listed as the cause of his death on the death certificate. Was an autopsy done?

What I meant by fitting his cancer into the AO criteria is this-

his medical records have to be carefully studied. This is when a good IMO doctor can help- unfortunately many of those doctors are expensive- however -this is something you can certainly do your self-

Look for whether his esophagal cancer was metasisized from either tracheal cancer or larynx cancer-
doctors dont always tell patients and their spouses all of the details.I lost a vet husband prior to my Vietnam vet husband to a brain tumor.
I found that the docs only told me-at first- a basic synopsis of his condition. They were more thrilled with discussing the brain surgery they performed- successful but the PT died-but after I started to study his medical condition, then they provided me with much more detailed answers to my questions.I had to study a lot of medical brain stuff to even be able to ask some of the questions-
My point is -
It is possible that in your husband's med recs this condition stemmed from (metasizied from) another form of cancer-Trachae and larnyx cancer ARE on the AO list.If the esophagal cancer metasized (began ) due to one of those cancers than the VA would have the link to direct Service Connection.It is possible that the doctor's didnt stress this point.But also possible that his cancer did not metasize.

Also-there are at least 34 terms of soft tissue sarcomas that VA service connects due to Agent Orange Exposure.

I know that list is here under a search-

it would be good to go through the med recs not only to see if trachae or larynx cancer presented itself before the esophagal diagnosis but also to see if any of the STS cancer terms appear in the med recs at all.

A friend of mine was denied inclusion into one of the AO lawsuits some years ago until I wrote a letter to the lawyer (Smoger lawsuit)with reference to his med recs that showed he had STS AO cancer.
His VA award letter was for Sec 1151 so the lawyer didnt realise he had AO sarcoma cancer and his med recs said NHL but I proved to the lawyer this also is lymphosarcoma ,an AO STS cancer.

I know there is legislation being proposed for additional AO cancers but it doesnt pay to depend on that.
The med recs might reveal what you need to succeed in this claim.

But this is one good reason why IMO doctors are worth what they charge.
Yet they do not always come up with medical evidence that strongly supports a claim.

Edited by Berta, 07 December 2008 - 02:57 PM.


#29 sjh4951

 
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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:31 PM

Hi Berta,

My husband was on SSA for 18 years! I have an award letter to prove it but there is no diagnoses on it. I also have his medical records from social security.

I just posted today on this site somewhere as to what the VA is doing to me now regarding the ptsd. My husband had a confirmed diagnoses of PTSD AND the VA recognizes that but his amended dd214 was not in his file when he died. It was sitting here on a table near his bed as he liked to look at it...he was bedridden from the cancer. It did not come in the mail until March 06 and he died May 06. I sent it to the VA in July o6 but they said it was moot because my husband was dead and it had to be in his file before he died. Someone at the regional office changed my claim from accrued ptsd to pension and I don't qualify for that.

I don't know what to do anymore with all the screwing around in Columbia.

The esophageal cancer is another story altogether and I'm going to try to get a letter from the gastro doctor that sites studies so maybe that will help.

Will you read my other post about the pension thing and let me know what you think????


Thanks!!






In a DIC claim like yours- you would have to prove your husband should have been rated 100% P & T in his lifetime for Service connected disability for ten years.

With only 2 years of SSA for PTSD that will be difficult to do.



It might be easier to obtain an IMO to state that his PTSD contributed to the conditions of death as found on his death certificate.

PTSD has been found to have contributed to heart disease by VA when the spouse had a strong Independent Medical Opinion.I dont know if the VA has ever SCed PTSD to any other type of cause of death.



"When I got my denial for the DIC(esophageal cancer-no mention of the PTSD) it showed as evidence the DD215. In March of 2007 I appealed everything..the VA stated there was no claim in their system for ptsd. On April 11, 2007 I received a denial for PTSD..their reasons and bases were:

. A claim for posttraumatic stress disorder ws received August 10, 2005. (Original date of filing was July 2004) The claim was subsequently denied and the Veteran was notified of that decision by a letter dated August 26, 2005.(quick, huh?) The claim was denied becasue there was no evidence of record of a verified stressful event that was linked to a confirmed diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder"

It seems they did not find any confirmed PTSD diagnosis.???? Did he have treatment records from a VA shrink? and did he take meds for PTSD?
Were these records from a Private doctor?
SSA based the PTSD award on something-some concrete diagnosis.

Did you claim direct SC death due to esophagal cancer?

I assume he was incountry Vietnam veteran-
and that this cancer was listed on his death certificate as cause of death?

Was this cancer in any way a soft tissue sarcoma?
Is there any way at all the medical records can make it fit into the AO criteria?
















[/quote]